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Colorado 14, Us 13, Denver 12, Ross Perot 7, Florida 5, Gary Johnson 4, George Farah 4, Jill Stein 4, Clinton 4, John Anderson 3, Amy Goodman 3, Jimmy Carter 3, Boulder 3, Pennsylvania 3, U.s. 3, Dr. Jill Stein 2, Ronald Reagan 2, Dr. Martin Luther King 2, George H.w. Bush 2, Romney 2,
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  WHUT    Democracy Now    Series/Special. Current  
   Events & News in the World  

    October 3, 2012
    6:00 - 6:59pm EDT  

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10.03.12 10.03.12 >> from denver, this is democracy now. >> they have determined and made sure that no third-party voices are ever seen on the debate state to challenge their dominance of the political system. >> as president obama and mitt romney prepare to debate, we look and how the democrats and republicans signed secret contracts, that among other things, shut out third parties from the presidential debates.
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then guns on campus. months after a former student opened fire at a movie theater in aurora, colorado, the university of colorado changes the rules to allow some students to carry concealed weapons on campus. >> i highly disagree with the change on campus. even though this is a state-run school, we should not have guns on campus. no guns on campus. >> members of a florida-based coalition take on the food giant to play. the company it being asked to trade foodaia fair agreement. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are on the road in denver,
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colorado. the obama administration has launched the first ups toward military action against the suspects on the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya last month. special operations command could have been used to capture militants deemed to have been involved in those actions killing americans, including christopher stevens. the options under discussion include drone strikes, special operations raids, and joint missions with libyan forces. lawmakers are claiming that the state are rebuffed pleas from the u.s. officials in libya. i house oversight and government reform committee, republicans said they set a hearing for next week to investigate. hillary clinton says she plans to cooperate with the probe. the pennsylvania judge has
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struck down the state's election law requiring voters to show photo id. pennsylvania's law allowed voting only to those who could produce a state driver's license, government employee id, or a state non-driver id card. but on tuesday, a commonwealth court judge ruled the state does not have enough time to adequately provide id to all those that need it in time for the november 6 election. the law was among the strictest to pass as a nationwide effort critics say is aimed at disenfranchising lower-income residents and people of color who tend to vote democratic. after its passage earlier this year, pennsylvania's republican house majority leader, mark -- mike turzai, predicted it would help romney win the state. tuesday's ruling does help pave the way for its use in future elections. mississippi also announced it will not enforce its law requiring photo ids at the
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polls. palau was put on hold after the justice department demanded proof that the measure would not violate the voting rights act. meanwhile, the battle of guns in ohio with some candid out overnight in order to cast their ballot. ohio is the seventh state to begin early voting. president obama and republican candidate mitt romney face off in denver tonight for the first debate of the presidential campaign. on tuesday, vice-president joe biden drew ridicule from republicans after saying the middle-class has been buried the last four years. although biden was referring to the effects of the financial crisis that began under the bush administration, paul ryan seized on the remarks as an admission of failure. this is deadly earnest. how they can justify, how can they justify raising taxes on the middle class?
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the middle-class has been buried last four years. how, in lord's name, can they justify raising taxes? >> vice-president biden today said that the middle-class over the last of we or years has been buried. we agree. that means we need to stop digging, which means we have to collect mitt romney as president of the united states. >> meanwhile, paul ryan has appeared in videos online. in a speech delivered last november, he said 30% of americans want to live off the government. today, 70% of americans get more benefit from the federal government and a payback in taxes. you could argue we are already passed a tipping point. the good news is, survey after
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survey, poll after poll, still shows we are a center-right country. 70% of americans won the american dream. only 30% want the welfare state. what that tells us is, at least half of those people currently in that category are there not of their wish or will. >> new video has surfaced of embattled missouri congressmember and republican senate candidate tod achan calling abortion doctors terrorists and accusing them of providing abortions to women who are not pregnant. akin made the comments in a speech. >> who wants to be at the very bottom of the food chain and a medical profession, abortionists. what sort of places to these
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doctors working in? places that are a pit. along with the culture of death are also of cultures of not following sanitary procedure, giving abortions to women who are not pregnant, cheating on taxes, all of these kinds of things, this use of anesthetics so that people die. >> congress member akin is currently in a tight race against clair mccaskill. he sparked national outrage in august when he claimed women had the ability to suppress conception in cases of legitimate rape. an appeals court has overturned a judge's decision to block a controversial statute that gave the government power to carry out indefinite detention. last month, katherine forest struck down a decision in the ndaa authorizing the imprisonment of anyone deemed a
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terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. the group of journalists, scholars, and political activists had brought the case, arguing the provision was so broad, it could easily infringe on freedom of speech. but on tuesday, a three-judge panel overruled the decision, granting the obama administration a temporary stay. at least 25 people have been killed and 70 wounded in the syrian city of aleppo. the attack took place in a city square. most of the victims were syrian military. in bahrain, clashes erupted on tuesday at the funeral of a protester jailed last year. the victim suffered sickle cell disease and demonstrators say that he died after being denied medical care. the unrest broke out after the police stopped a crowd of thousands of mourners to march to the center of the uprising.
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a u.s. border patrol agent has been shot dead and another wounded at the border with mexico. the agents were on patrol when they came under fire. a new government report has found an intelligence program that formed a major part of domestic counterterrorism efforts in the united states has been almost entirely of the recess. a bipartisan report examines the network of so-called fusion centers created after the 9/11 attacks to create intelligence sharing among local, state, and federal authorities. investigators have accused the centers as being bastions of waste, having virtually informad possibly infringing of people's civil liberties. as much as $1.4 billion in taxpayer funds designated for
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the center has gone unaccounted for by federal officials, the report found. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting in denver, colorado. we are on the road just miles from the university of denver, the site of tonight's presidential debate between mitt romney and president obama. it is the first of three presidential debates before the november 6 election. tonight's debate will focus on domestic policy, but one issue that will not be covered is the actual structure of the debate itself. the obama and romney campaigns have secretly negotiated a detailed contract that dictates many of the terms of the 2012 presidential debates. this includes who gets to participate, as well as the topics raised in the debate. now 18 pro-democracy groups are calling on the commission of
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presidential debates, a private corporation, to review the details of the negotiated agreement. meanwhile, libertarian nominee gary johnson has filed an antitrust lawsuit for entry into the debates against the commission on presidential debates. in addition, supporters of green party nominee jill stein plan to protest outside of the debate under the banner of occupied the cpd. jill stein and rocky anderson will appear on democracy now!'s expanding the debate exclusive tonight. we will air the obama-romney debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from dr. stein and rocky anderson. we invited gary johnson, but his campaign said he had other plans for the night. our special begins at 8:30 p.m.
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eastern time. you can also go to our website, democracynow.org. to talk more about the debates, we are joined by the founder and executive director of open debates, the author of "no debate: how the republican and democratic parties secretly control the presidential debates." george, welcome. you are in new york, near our studios, and we are in denver for the debate tonight. george, how did it come to be that the commission of presidential debates came to be? what is this commission? >> the commission on presidential debates sounds like a government agency, like a nonpartisan entity, which is by design, is intended to deceive the american people.
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in reality, it is a private corporation financed by anheuser-busch and others, created by the republican and democratic parties to seize control of the debates. precisely as you said, every four years, this commission allows major party campaigns to meet behind closed doors and draft a contract that dictates many of the terms. the reason for the commission's creation is that the previous sponsor, the league of women voters, was a genuine non- partisan entity, the voice of the american people. time and again, the league had the courage to stand up to the democratic and republican campaigns to insist on challenging creative formats, the inclusion of independent candidates that the majority of americans wanted to see, and most important, to insist on transparency, so any attempt to manipulate the presidential debates would result in and of
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enormous political price. >> you have a lot of time here, so i want you to lay out how this happened. explain the moment when this was taken out of the hands of the league of women voters, and this commission was formed. how was this justified? >> the best part of the history starts in 1980. an independent candidate for president runs against jimmy carter and ronald reagan. president jimmy carter absolutely opposed john anderson's participation, and the league had a choice. do they support the independent candidate's participation or do they capitulate to the demands of jimmy carter? the league did the right thing, they stood up for the united states and invited john anderson. passed for four years later. the walter mondale and ronald reagan campaign's vetoed 80 of
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the moderator that the league of women voters have proposed for the debates. never try to get rid of difficult questions. 8-0. 80. the league then held a press conference and lambast the campaigns for trying to get rid of the difficult questions. of course there was an outcry. the result was fantastic. for the next debate, the campaign were required to accept the lead's moderators. four more years later and you have the michael this caucus and george bush campaign's drafting the first ever 12-page secret debate contract. they gave it to the league of women voters and said implement this. they said, are you kidding me? we are not going to implement a
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secret contract. instead, the release the contract to the public and accuse the candidates of perpetrating a fraud on the american people and refusing to be "and accessory to the hoodwinking of the american people." conveniently, a year earlier, the republican and democratic parties had ratified an agreement to take over the presidential debates, and they created this commission, which was waiting in the wings and step right in and implemented the very same 12-page contract that the league had denounced. ever since -- >> since the league of women voters least it at the time, what was in the contract? >> the contract then set provision that the candidates could not ask each other questions during the debates, no third party candidates would be allowed to participate in those events, had there would be a certain number of audits number that would be supporters of each
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candidate. actually, it is quite tame to recent contracts we have seen in the past few years. the 2004 contract was 32 pages. over time, the candidates have made greater efforts to control various components of the debate to eliminate third party candidates, unpredictable questions, and any threat to their dominance in the political process. >> this commission, talk about the hands of the commission and who they are, who they were when it started, and who they are today, and who they represent? >> frank fair cop is the former chair of the republican party. paul kirk is the former chair of the democratic party. when they created the commission, for 15 months, the simultaneously served as
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conditions of their parties, so by definition, it was low to those two parties. frank is still co-chair of the commission on presidential debates. he has one other job. he is the director of the american gaming association. in other words, he is the nation's leading gambling lobbyist. i asked him, do you feel comfortable having a beer and tabasco -- tobacco companies supporting the elections? he said, i am in charge of gaming. you have two people in charge of these presidential debates that are loyal to their parties, and number two, have demonstrated time and again a willingness to sacrifice the interest of the american people for private, political, and financial interests. these are people that do not hesitate to subjugate the
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democratic process to the private interests that benefit from these debates. >> can you talk about what happened this past week, george farah? an advertising agency, phillip'' north america, and others, terminating their spots to ship of the debates. what are corporate its reach a corporation to be sponsoring these debates? and why have these organizations pulled out? >> one or corporations doing sponsoring these debates? -- what are corporations doing sponsoring these debates? >> i did not know how it will be this year, but in the past, anheuser-busch women scantily clad will be passing out things. they get wonderful benefits
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because they are able to simultaneously demonstrate their support for both major parties, and get a tax deduction to boot. back when the league of women voters used to sponsor these events, they would struggle to raise $5,000 contributions from companies. but because they are now perceived as a soft money donation, this is another avenue for businesses with regulatory interests before congress to influence our political process. we have launched a campaign from 2004 to push our supporters to write letters and e-mails to the very sponsors demanding that they withdraw their support of the commission. this year, with the support of other organizations, and with enthusiasm from other parties, for the first time ever we have succeeded in achieving some tangible goals. three of the 10 sponsors have withdrawn support. bbh,ywca, and philips
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electronics. due to the extraordinary pressure that we have exerted on them, they said that we will no longer be affiliated with an entity that is seen, correctly, as being anti-democratic. i hope this is the beginning of unveiling the commission for what it truly is, and displacing it. >> say again the companies that continue to support the commission on presidential debates? >> there are seven remaining companies. anheuser-busch, the poster child for contributing. southwest airlines. you have the international bottled water association. then you have the howard buffett foundation, who happened to be a board member of the foundation, another fund associated with the kennedy library. you have two law firms. a specific law firm that focuses
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on issues in washington and then a national security lawyer. these are the seven entities that are backing our commission on presidential debates. these should be supported by civic groups, non-partisan organizations with a real focus on the democratic process. >> it will be interesting to see if there is bottled water on their podiums, or if there is bud light. [laughter] i wanted to go to one of the candidates shut out of tonight's debate, and john anderson. he recently appeared on fox news with neil cavuto. >> colon well to get in those debates. >> very catch-22. right now i am 5% nationally. the fact is, i am not being
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recognized at 5% nationally. if people did, the overwhelming reaction would be, who the hell is gary johnson? >> what does it take to get into the debates? >> you have to get into the polls. >> the green party earlier wrapped up its convention with its nomination of dr. jill stein and her running mate cheri honkala. stein called her ticket a viable third-party ticket challenge too beholden republicans and democrats. >> i believe grass-roots grows from the community up, but at the same time, we have a state of emergency at the national mall. to silence the only hope of that opposition's voice in this election when so much is at stake, i think, would be a terrible loss for the american people. there is no reason why americans should have to walk into the voting booths in november and
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only have effectively two wall street-sponsored choices. >> that was green party nominee jill stein. we also spoke to justice party nominee rocky anderson in the republican national convention in tampa, florida last month. >> these two parties have a stranglehold on our democracy. they are depriving people around the country of not only being able to get on the ballot. they are denying us of our freedom of choice. we are seeing it in the most aggressive ways. >> again, we are going to have this presidential debate, including rocky anderson, the presidential candidate from the justice party, dr. jill stein, president and candidate from the green party, we will be doing that tonight, expanding the debate.
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not having them comments afterwards, but they will participate in the debate. we will hit pause on the debate, and they will be given the same amount of time as the main candidates, so that tv and radio and internet audiences of democracy now! can hear what democracy sounds like. george farah, there was a third- party candidate outside of anderson. ross perot. how did he get into the debates? why was agreed to them? >> it is a fascinating story. 1992, 1996, he managed to get into the 1992 presidential debates. one of the great public misconceptions is that the commission invited him. the commission love to take credit for him, saying we are not as partisan as people accuse us of being. we included ross perot.
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that is not what happened. president george h.w. bush believed strategically that ross perot would take votes from then challenger bill clinton. insisted onmpaign ross perot's inclusion. the commission first proposed his inclusion, and then they allowed him to purchase a bit in a single debate. it was only because george h.w. bush and clinton pushed for his inclusion. four years later, ross perot runs for president again. he had $29 million in taxpayer funds. 79% of the american people wanted to see him in the debates. yet, he was excluded. this time, the candidates wanted to keep him out. bob dole was desperate to keep him out of the debate because he thought that ross perot would take votes away from him. bill clinton did not want anyone to watch the debates.
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he wanted a non event. bill clinton of the two -- agreed to include ross perot on the condition that one of the debates was canceled, and the other was scheduled opposite the world series of baseball, and there were no follow-up questions. that is what the american people got. exactly as president clinton wanted, by design, the lowest debate audience in history. who took the heat? not the candidates. the polls after the debate showed 50% of the public blamed the commission. only 13% blamed president clinton, 5% blame the bob dole. the role that the commission played along the candidates to engage in anti-democratic manipulations behind closed doors without having to pay a political process. if bob dole and bill clinton can look at the camera and say we are going to keep out a candidate that you want to see,
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they would have never had the courage to do so. it would have been forced to allow ross perot on the stage. >> what about this, that gary johnson made, the former governor of new mexico, running on the libertarian line, this catch-22 about how you increase your standing in the polls if you are not in the debates? >> an investigation by the federal election commission looked at adopting a numerical figure to decide whether it third-party candidate could participate. they have announced if any candidate gets 15% of the polls, they will invite them. 15%? that is crazy. there has not been a third-party candidate in the last 100 years that has come close to 15% prior
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to any presidential debate. congress gives candidates millions of dollars of taxpayer funds if they win 5% of the popular vote. how can we subsidize a candidate, but we need three times the level of support to get into the debates? third-party candidates face extraordinary barriers, scant media coverage, loyalties of the political class in the voting public, enormous campaign finance disparities. they managed to convince a majority of american thought to be included in the presidential debates. it is outrageous that the private corporations are telling them now. it is absolutely a catch-22. the presidential debates are the gatekeepers to credibility. if he is in, he is deemed as a viable and worthy of media attention, but if he is excluded, he is deemed as marginal or not worthy of media
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attention, and his campaign is relegated to the dustbin of history. these are not non-partisan entities like billy the women voters, but these are partisan organizations. it stifles debate, by design. >> how do you see this changing right now, george farah? you are the founder and executive director of open debates. you have been watching this over the years. the league of women voters, are there organizing? how are groups organizing? how do you see this playing out? >> we created the citizens debate commission in 2004, comprised of political leaders from across the spectrum. tony perkins, randall roberts in, backed by 67 groups, 23 newspapers around country from "the l.a. times," to "the seattle times."
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our purpose was clear. we were going to bring to numb -- the monopoly that the presidential commission had. that was just planting the seeds. this was the beginning of a broad based movement. the only way to break the monopoly on the commission for presidential debates is to create so much grass roots supports that it becomes costly for the major parties to avoid that. once upon a time, there were no presidential debates, 1964, 1972. now any major candidates seem avoiding the debate to a cowardly. they must debate, whether they like it or not. you want to take and expectations the public has and elevate it, so not only will a candidate pay a price if they avoid the debates, but they will
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pay a political price if they are not real debates. step by step, i think we will succeed. it is a matter of time. the fact that breeze positive withdrew their support is testimony to the fact that it is now becoming an expensive to become too politically associated. we can broaden that attack to include not just corporations but also the individual candidates, we will start to see that way. >> george farah, thank you for being with us. author of "no debate: how the republican and democratic parties secretly control the presidential debates." he will be joining us tonight. we will be starting a half hour before the actual presidential debate at 8:30 eastern standard time. vincent harding will also be with us, close ally of dr. martin luther king. he is based here in denver.
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he helped to write the speech that dr. king wrote in new york. then we start the debate at 9:00 eastern time, just as the debate begins here in denver. we will broadcast the debate, moderated by jim lehrer of the pbs news hour. he will pose the question to the major candidates. then we will hit pause and expand the debates. candidates will be here with us in the studio also in denver, dr. jill stein and rocky anderson, both third-party presidential candidates. gary johnson was invited but he will not be in the city. we will expand the debate just as if they were standing there at the university of denver. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. check democracynow.org. back in a minute. [♪]
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candidates. then we will hit pause and expand the debates. candidates will be here with
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>> a song inspired by comments of the convicted murderer who went on a shooting spree at an elementary school in 1979. spencer showed no remorse for her crime. her full explanation for her actions were, "i do not like
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mondays. this livens up the day." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. we are broadcasting from just outside denver, colorado, in littleton, colorado. gun-control advocates are urging president obama and mitt romney to discuss this subject. the debate takes place near the movie theater where 12 people were gunned down this past july as well as columbine. the mass shooting was carried out by a former university of cholera -- call run a graduate student. for the first time in 40 years, in diversity is the following those with concealed carry permits to have handguns.
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boulder's online newspaper ""the daily camera" spoke to students about the ruling. >> we should not let people bring guns onto campus. we need to restrict the right to people who have be with us, close ally of dr. martin luther king. he is based here in denver. he helped to write the speech concealed and carry application processes. criminal to not pay attention to no gun crimes. >> i believe constitutional rights should be upheld for citizens. that being said, it does concern me a little bit about the stability of everyone on a college campus. people are under stress or not always sober. stuff can happen. i feel a little uneasy about it because it is not a personal choice of my to own a gun, but i understand it is a
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constitutional right. >> i highly disagree with the ruling on campus. even though this is a state-run school, there should on the guns on campus. look at columbine, virginia tech. it does not really lead to good things. >> we are joined by noaa molotch, a professor of geography at the university of colorado. we are also joined by clearly be. her district includes denver. welcome to the show. state representative levy comet explain the process and why the university of colorado is changing their lot? >> it 2003, the state legislature changed a lot to preempt all local control over where a person can carry a
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concealed weapon. there was some ambiguity about whether it included college campuses. the university of colorado challenged that law because they felt they should have control over weapons on their campus. in march, the colorado supreme court ruled that they were printed, that they could not make own rules, and there for concealed weapons would be allowed on any public diversity or college in colorado. my legislation would put the decision back in the hands of the people who are responsible for the safety of students and faculty on their campuses. >> why do you say universities should be exempt from the state law? if >> they are responsible for the safety of the students, college campuses, these are places of learning. those who have those responsibilities should make the
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decision about whether to allow concealed weapons. >> noah, you teach at the university of colorado boulder. talk about what is happening on campus, the concerns of profs? >> i would say, overwhelmingly, the faculty are against having firearms on campus, whether they be by conceal-carry permit holders, or illegally. we have dead and levitan students in class, we have a relatively high dropout rate. we do have students that go through pretty unpleasant experiences sometimes they're in their years at university. they are also growing a lot as individuals. through that process, sometimes they go through some emotional stress. having firearms injected into that environment is not healthy. there is also a lot of
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dissenting views on campus. all political spectrum represented on campus for some their opinions on many different issues. having firearms present in those kinds of discussions is also, i think, potentially volatile. >> your own personal concerns about, for example, grading students? >> i connect with my students on i a pretty deep level, i think, not only in lecture, but also when i pass on their grading exams. sometimes, a failing grade that i may have to issue as part of my duty as a professor could be the final failing grade that pushes them out of the diversity. that has a potentially big impact on their life, and that is a potential for some rational behavior. after all, they are human beings. i would not a fought -- want a
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firearm in my own pocket throughout my daily experiences, and i do not believe human being should be trusted to behave appropriately with a firearm circumstances. >> last i was giving a talk at the university church in boulder. a woman had come up to me and said, are you carrying? i said, this was a rude question to ask. she said, i mean, no, are you carrying a weapon. she thought i was pregnant. i am not used to those kinds of questions, the idea of a concealed weapon. >> colorado is a very diverse state, perhaps a microcosm of the country, the western slope is different from denver and
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boulder. we are a state university. we have to respect the political views of the entire state, including the loss in the state constitution, which is why we are in the situation we are in now. on both sides, there is a recognition that the classroom is a place where a fire arm is not necessarily a good thing to have. there have been ideas thrown out there like having lockers on campus where people can carry their firearms and then lock them up. those have not been pushed by the administration, i should be clear. there is not a good solution to this. i think the only good solution is to ban firearms from campus and identify the campus as a special place come as a court room -- , as a court room, or a
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k-12 school, i do not receive a difference. -- i do not really see the difference. >> i want to turn to an interview that fox news did with michael boozman. he explains why students with concealed carry permits should be able to carry on campus. >> people that already have a handgun license that carry it in their everyday life when they go to the bank, grocery store, shopping mall, theaters, it would allow them to carry on campus. we do not believe the campus is some magical environment or as soon as they stepped foot on there, they lose sense of logic and reason. state legislator levy, your response? >> it is absurd. i do not know a better word for it. to think that people should be walking around and going to class with guns on their person.
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you come to college to get an education. it is a safe place. statistically, one of the safest places you can be. there is a mentality that carrying a weapon should be an everyday occurrence, when you get ready to go to class, to dinner, you pick up your wallet, your books, and you're gone. it is just absurd. -- your gun. >> colorado announced that students carrying guns would be allowed to keep weapons in a limited number of housing units. this is how one person reacted to the news. >> it is sort of a policy of separate but equal. if you want to exercise your second amendment rights, you have to live in a segregated dorm essentially. it is probably going to be the
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safest dorm on campus. i know a lot of people who do not have carried and conceal permits asking to live in that door, because they know it is not going to get robbed, criminals will not target it. >> noah molotch? >> family housing here is housing for students of the university who have families. if i had a family as a student, i would be rather appalled that everyone with a gun will be placed next door to me. i do not agree that that would be the safest place necessarily to be. there are accidental deaths associated with firearms. a considerable chunk of the deaths that occur due to fire arms each year. i do not see how having firearms within family housing is a good solution to the problem.
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>> state representative claire levy, this is legislation you are talking about, that you have not introduced yet? >> that is correct. the legislature will not be in session until next january. >> how much support you have for this? a number of professors that are against the students carrying concealed weapons on campus are not opposed to having guns, bic supporters of the second amendment. >> the debate will unfold. what i really want to emphasize is we do not need a second amendment debate as part of this legislation. what we need to talk about is what is the right body to make the decision about whether to allow guns on campus. i think the right body is the
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university itself and not the state legislature. the situation right now is that the state legislature sits in denver, comprised oflegislation. what we need to talk 106 to five representative, 65 senators, have decided for the state of colorado what the policy should be. what i want to focus on in my legislation is who should decide. i think university administration, those governing bodies, should make those decisions. >> of what to think both of you with -- for being with us -- i want to thank both of you for being with us. professor molotch, congratulations on the birth of your new baby. >> thank you. >> when we come back, there is a major rally being planned here in denver. this is the home base of aaa. we will be joined by one of the spokespeople for the coalition
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of workers. he has come to denver for this rally. stay with us.
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>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are here in denver, colorado, has returned to a six-year human rights campaign targeting the fast-food chain chipotle, headquartered here in denver. the first restaurant opened up in 1993 with the goal of serving healthcare fast food. the vision grew as the company expanded nationwide and is summed up in its motto, who with integrity, which is promoted in
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videos like this one. in 1993 with>> we want to celebs idea of the russian people and feeding them great food. >> it is about culturcelebrating relationships. >> the farmers are the stars. >> it is our farmers and chess that are working so hard to make sure that the food tastes great. >> they know where their food comes from. >> we are putting all our emphasis on ingredients. that is what differentiates us from everyone else. >> despite their commitment from serving food that is produced in a humane manner, the company has yet to have rules on those that work for them. on tuesday, local supporters joined a group for a protest outside of chipotle's denver
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headquarters, calling on it and other major fast-food chains who signed on to the program. this weekend, they will be targeting a festival in denver promoted by chipotle, and features music, food, chefs, and no farm workers. we are pleased to be joined by one of the farm workers in our studio. welcome to democracy now! you have come to denver to do exactly what on november 6? >> we are here to talk about the reality of farmworkers, the notion that farm workers, when you are talking about sustainability, and what chipotle says is nonexistent. the farmers should be the center of the conversation.
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>> i am going to fix your audio. while we do that, we want to go to a comment on chipotle. they weren't able to be on the show, but we did speak to them by phone. we spoke to their communications director. we began by asking why the company refused to sign the committee of the motley workers agreement to participate in the fair food program. this was their response. >> we always believe that you done it contra to do the right thing. fact, we have a long track record of dried positive change in the nation's food supply and have done all the things that we have done without having third party contracts. in terms of the transparency of auditing, two things. first of all, they conduct the to determine the
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practices of the growers as it relates to our purchases. we provide records of our florida to make purchases to ciw auditors so that they can say what we're buying from whom and for how much. >> what about the reason why chipotle will not sign the contract. why are you concerned? >> the last time we looked at this coming three years ago, there were provisions in the agreement we have troubles with. cut the agreement takes into consideration only variables that matter to ciw. there are a lot of things that matter to us in terms of sourcing the ingredients that we use. the point that gave us the most concern was, at the time, there were no growers additionally purchase a fading in ciw's program, and an initially one.
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yet, the agreement required, if you go outside of that system, you do so only with ciw's approval. that is not a degree of control over our supply that we are going to relinquish to anybody, if we can get the ingredients that meet our high standards, we need the flexibility to go to other sources. we are not going to compromise the quality of the food that we serve. that provision in the agreement would have required that. now, things have changed some sense that. today, 90% of florida's tomatoes are grown under that agreement. it is entirely possible that it is no longer an issue. >> do you think the company may be considered now to sign the contract, in part, for example,
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because the workers have presented the failure as a sign of the poor quality of human rights for the workers? do you think the company may now reconsider the contract with them for the third food program? >> definitely a possibility. >> that is chris arnold, a spokesperson for filechipotle. >> it has been six years since they were approached. >> there has been a lot of agreements since then with corporations, taco bell, burger king, for example. consumers nationwide are trying to convince corporations to do the right thing.
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we have been able to create a program which is addressing the abuses that have historically happened in the tomato industry. for the first time, we created a new system to eliminate the abuses, to identify where abuses are going on and remove them from the system. this is an opportunity for chipotle to do the right thing. they claim to sell through with integrity and our focused on the sustainability part of that conversation as one of the main points of the corporation. >> they say they are making it a reality even without signing pier 90% of tornadoes in florida use this contract. -- without signing. 90% of tornadoes in florida use this contract. >> that is correct, but the
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corporations need to have our support and aid to pay a premium. corporations often need to be able to make purchases, if necessary, where there are abuses that are violated. >> quickly, october -- october 6. you're having a festival. or message to chipotle? >> yes, we will be reminding people, without workers, there is no food with integrity or without integrity, there is no food, period. >> thank you for being with us, gerardo reyes-chavez. tune in tonight to our debate coverage as we expanded to include third-party candidates. we begin at 8:30 p.m. eastern time. democracynow.org
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.